The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,434 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?
Score distribution:
5,434 movie reviews
  1. It’s a credit to both Mackenzie’s talent as a director of actors and to the underlying humaneness of his vision that he argues that the right option is the more difficult and less predictable one — and that he does so without relying on sentimentality, unearned sympathy, or a happy ending.
  2. It’s not a documentary that reinvents the form or will alter anyone’s perception of the war, but sometimes a rich, exhaustive chronicle is more than enough.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Wetlands makes the internal external; the secret, scary bits of female anatomy are on display in a way that isn’t meant to be particularly titillating to the male gaze.
  3. It’s also just magnificently goofy, unafraid to court ridicule and confident enough to take captivating detours.
  4. The plight of this struggling family unit weighs more heavily on the heart with each passing minute, making Stray Dogs the rare marathon-length art film that seems to grow less oppressive the longer it goes on.
  5. Beyond giving a human face to Uganda's crises, Kiarostami attempts to capture the actual place, a swirl of contradictions as vibrant and beautiful as it is troubled.
  6. Far from the solemn earnestness of most Holocaust documentaries, Fighter addresses the war and its oft-toxic reverberations with refreshing impudence and candor.
  7. As the film takes shape, the form and the subject develop a fascinating symbiosis, with Derrida cast as an active participant in the deconstruction of his own documentary.
  8. Stillman's arch, clever dialogue is as strong as ever, and he conveys in every frame a genuine affection for his characters, however insipid their actions may be at times. These gifts make it easy to forgive Stillman's tendency to let his story meander, especially in Disco's second half.
  9. Summer Phoenix has a screen presence that's simultaneously distancing and transfixing, an inscrutability that makes her seem either mysterious or a complete blank.
  10. Emerges as something rare, an issue movie that's so honest and keenly observed that it doesn't feel like one. It earns its thesis statement through minute details and a unique grasp of a commonplace problem.
  11. Uncompromising in her art, her teaching, and her professional relations, Boyd makes for a classic tough old bird of a character.
  12. In the end, it's that reserve that makes it work. Keeping his distance, the director lets viewers see in full the moments in which grief turns the world into a narrow, never-ending tunnel.
  13. Though shorn of 20 minutes for its U.S. debut, the film's wry comic portrait of the Japanese Occupation during WWII hasn't lost any of its incendiary brilliance, both as a political provocation and as a brusquely humane take on the horrors and absurdity of war.
  14. Though it occasionally wears its metaphors on its sleeve, Ulee's Gold should, if there's any justice, find the same thoughtful-drama-hungry audience that made "Sling Blade" a hit.
  15. Smart in a rare way that matters greatly to good contemporary comedy: Like last year's "Flirting With Disaster," its script and direction underplay absurd situations, letting its characters amuse without showing the strains of forced wackiness.
  16. What Von Trier arrives at is a complex, contemporary, and deeply moving exploration of faith.
  17. Mann takes all the instincts he learned as a Miami Vice producer and trims them of their excesses, and the result is an unsettling thriller whose detached style perfectly complements its psychological intensity.
  18. Seasoned with amusing bits of fantasy, like a pizza topping that briefly curls into a smile, Friday Night captures the city at its most inviting, alive with the feeling that wonderful things can happen to ordinary people.
  19. An inspired, original, and gracefully integrated collaboration of theater and cinema that complements not only both forms, but also the seductive, dreamlike qualities of the source material.
  20. The superbly edited original version of Amadeus used overlapping sound cues for a lively flow between scenes, and the new version breaks up some of that flow with lengthy, talky interludes. Still, Ondrícek's breathtaking images and Forman's essential craft are best appreciated on the big screen, and another theatrical run for Amadeus is a welcome gift, no matter how much this edition unnecessarily gilds what's already a near-perfect lily
  21. Neither condemning nor forgiving, the film is a model of documentary evenhandedness, even though James makes no claims of objectivity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the funniest movies of the year, but you may need to shower afterwards.
  22. A viscerally punishing study of repression and masochism, carried out with the utmost discretion and chilling reserve.
  23. So much fun that its considerable worth as history and sociology seems almost incidental.
  24. There's not a weak performance in Secrets And Lies, a fact made more notable by the seeming ease with which the cast performs as an ensemble.
  25. A Trojan horse of a teen comedy that balanced lowbrow gags with subtle humor, genuine insight—Crowe spent a year undercover as a high-school student—and pathos.
  26. Malick's powerful intermingling of brutality and beauty, his signature cutaways to indigenous flora and fauna, and the gentle lyricism of his disjunctive narration and painterly images are too rich to fully register in a single viewing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An astoundingly moving and elegiac meditation on life, love, music, and the bonds of blood.
  27. A superb portrait of a band and an industry in flux.

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